Monthly Archives

January 2009

Flat Rock, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

California, San Diego

A couple more photos of Torrey Pines today and tomorrow, then on to other things. One of the main trails in Torrey Pines State Reserve leads down to the beach, to a flat rock that is surprisingly named “Flat Rock.” As we flew over Flat Rock a couple was enjoying the late afternoon sun on the rock, watching us as we passed by. Are those beers in their hands? I zoomed in 100% in the high res photo and indeed they are sampling the grain. Classic! Oops, did I just say that? How impolitic of me. What I meant was: Awful, wanton, bad, bad people, inconsiderate drunks from out of town who should know better. Hard to fault them though, it was a great afternoon for it. Tomorrow I will post a panoramic view from where they were standing.

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla.  On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla. On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world.
Image ID: 22463
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

See more photos of San Diego

Children’s Pool, La Jolla

California, La Jolla, San Diego

Children’s Pool, also known as Casa Cove, is a pretty contentious place these days. The Children’s Pool is a simple pocket cove protected by a manmade seawall. It has a fine sand beach, calm waters and fairly good snorkeling. And harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are often found on the beach, which has a lot of people up in arms. Seal lovers want the beach managed for the welfare of the seals. Divers and swimmers are unwilling to give up access to the beach, and some even go so far as to support physical alteration of the beach and seawall in such a way that the seals will have no choice but to depart. Children’s Pool is often in the news these days, and there are a number of websites created by interests on both sides of the issue. We’ll see how it all gets resolved, if ever. I have a lot of nice photos of harbor seals taken at the Children’s Pool, and often receive questions from people about them and the seals. Four years ago I posted my personal feelings about the harbor seals at Children’s Pool and my feelings really have not changed since then.

The Children's Pool in La Jolla, also known as Casa Cove, is a small pocket cove protected by a curving seawall, with the rocky coastline and cottages and homes of La Jolla seen behind it

The Children’s Pool in La Jolla, also known as Casa Cove, is a small pocket cove protected by a curving seawall, with the rocky coastline and cottages and homes of La Jolla seen behind it.
Image ID: 22302
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

See more photos of San Diego

Torrey Pines Golf Course

California, San Diego

I used to play Torrey Pines Golf Course on Friday afternoons with some buddies when I was a student at UCSD. We played both north and south courses, whichever had an earlier slot available when we got there. Each semester we would plan our class schedules so that we would be done with lectures by about 1pm on Fridays, ensuring we could shoot a full round before sunset. With a resident’s card the green fee was something like $10, and splitting a cart was another $10 or so. It was great, poor college students enjoying 18 holes on one of the finest public courses on the West coast, with perhaps the best views of any course in California. Ah, good times. These days Torrey Pines Golf Course is milked as a cash cow by the city rather than as an asset to be preserved primarily for the people that actually live in San Diego. Holding the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines added to the misery, causing course closures before and after the event, generating traffic and crowds during the event and generally making it harder for Joe San Diego to enjoy the course in his own city. (Don’t expect to hear these sentiments from the craven town boosters and the developers they serve, however.) It is tough to get a good tee time at Torrey since a quota of the best tee times are set aside for a private hotel near the course. The remainder are distributed by a company whose priority appears to be squeezing as much revenue as possible out of each foursome (including a “processing fee”). The vibe and attitude that made Torrey Pines Golf Course so appealing is gone. Well, that’s progress for you, at least in the minds of the politicians and business interests who run things in San Diego. As in most cities, these people are remarkably good at screwing things up. However, as hard as they have tried, one thing to which the suits have not yet been able to lay waste are the views at Torrey Pines. They will always be wonderful.

Torrey Pines Golf Course, south course holes 2, 4 and 5.  Torrey Pines golf course, situated atop the magnificent 300 foot tall seacliffs, offers majestic views of the Pacific Ocean south to La Jolla.  Scattered around the course are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines Golf Course, south course holes 2, 4 and 5. Torrey Pines golf course, situated atop the magnificent 300 foot tall seacliffs, offers majestic views of the Pacific Ocean south to La Jolla. Scattered around the course are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world.
Image ID: 22312
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Torrey Pines golf course, situated atop the magnificent 300 foot tall seacliffs, offers majestic views of the Pacific Ocean south to La Jolla.  Scattered around the course are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world.  Some of La Jolla's biotechnology companies are seen on the far side of the golf course, along North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines golf course, situated atop the magnificent 300 foot tall seacliffs, offers majestic views of the Pacific Ocean south to La Jolla. Scattered around the course are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world. Some of La Jolla’s biotechnology companies are seen on the far side of the golf course, along North Torrey Pines Road.
Image ID: 22320
Location: San Diego, California, USA

See more stock photos of San Diego, Torrey Pines Golf Course, and photos of Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

California, San Diego

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a special place for me. When I was a kid, we drove down from Newport Beach to hike the winding dirt trails from the mesa to the beach, squeezing through the notorious and now-closed “Fat Man’s Misery” (a politically-incorrectly-named narrow trail which discriminates against the width-challenged), wondering whether we would see any free-ranging wild nudies when we reached the ocean below. (Sadly, we learned that the nudist be-ins took place further south at Black’s Beach). When I lived in Del Mar in the 80’s and 90’s I would run in Torrey Pines each day, slowly making my way up the historic old Coast Highway to the golf course on the mesa and then enjoying the downhill trail past Broken Hill and down the view-laden switchbacks to the beach at Flat Rock. We started our flight just south of Del Mar and flew over Torrey Pines State Beach, admiring the 300′ sandstone cliffs and eroded bluffs of the reserve, speckled with rare Torrey Pines trees (Pinus torreyana). I was able to make out all the trails I used to (and sometimes still do) run.

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla.  On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla. On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world.
Image ID: 22285
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla.  On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla. On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world.
Image ID: 22319
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

See more stock photos of San Diego and photos of Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Aerial Photos of San Diego

Aerial Photography, California, GeoBlog, Photography, San Diego

Here are a couple of new aerial photos from our recently updated collection of San Diego Photos.

New Point Loma Lighthouse, situated on the tip of Point Loma Peninsula, marks the entrance to San Diego Bay.  The lighthouse rises 70' and was built in 1891 to replace the "old"  Point Loma Lighthouse which was often shrouded in fog

New Point Loma Lighthouse, situated on the tip of Point Loma Peninsula, marks the entrance to San Diego Bay. The lighthouse rises 70′ and was built in 1891 to replace the “old” Point Loma Lighthouse which was often shrouded in fog.
Image ID: 22295
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Downtown San Diego and Petco Park, viewed from the southeast

Downtown San Diego and Petco Park, viewed from the southeast.
Image ID: 22300
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Recently I had a chance to go flying with Ron Niebrugge, an Alaska-based photographer who spends a lot of time shooting in California in winter months. We had a picture-perfect flight, just super, and managed to fly over most of the landmarks we had on our wish list. If you use Google Earth, you can see the flight track we had as well as a sampling of the images I took positioned where they were taken by clicking both of the following two links (you’ll need Google Earth installed for this to work):

http://www.oceanlight.com/kml.php?file=20090116.kml
http://www.oceanlight.com/22285-22305.kml

I managed a lot of keepers and will be posting some of them in the coming days.

Marine Mammal Commission 2007 Annual Report to Congress

Photography

Each year, the Marine Mammal Commission prepares its annual report to the United States Congress. For the 2007 edition of the report, which is the most recent, all of the photos on the front and back cover are mine.

When the report was presented at a special Joint Session of Congress, the entire Senate burst into immediate thundering applause while several top-ranking members of the House were seen high-fivin’ in the aisles and Pelosi fist-bumped Obama!

OK, that last part is a lie.

Seriously though, this is one of the most solemn, and inside the beltway at least, one of the most noteworthy publication credits I have had.

Pictured on the cover are three images of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) and a single image of a Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus).

San Diego Waterfront from Coronado Island

California, Panoramas, Photography, San Diego

Here is the last shot of the San Diego city skyline, over San Diego Bay, taken about an hour after the first one and the middle one, viewed from Coronado Island:

San Diego city skyline at night, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego reflected in the still waters of San Diego Harbor, viewed from Coronado Island.  A panoramic photograph, composite of seven separate images

San Diego city skyline at night, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego reflected in the still waters of San Diego Harbor, viewed from Coronado Island. A panoramic photograph, composite of seven separate images.
Image ID: 22254
Location: San Diego, California, USA

See more of our San Diego City Skyline Panoramic Photos (or more panorama photos from places other than San Diego). They were shot with a 21 megapixel camera and consist of anywhere from four to thirteen separate frames. The amount of detail in these images is staggering, they can be printed absolutely huge! Maybe even lifesize?

San Diego City Lights from Harbor Island

California, Panoramas, San Diego

Here is another shot of the San Diego city skyline, over San Diego Bay, viewed a little while after the first one and from a different vantage point on Harbor Island. There just a bit of after-sunset color left in the sky.

San Diego city skyline at sunset, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego rising above San Diego Harbor, viewed from Harbor Island.  A panoramic photograph, composite of four separate images

San Diego city skyline at sunset, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego rising above San Diego Harbor, viewed from Harbor Island. A panoramic photograph, composite of four separate images.
Image ID: 22253
Location: San Diego, California, USA

See more of our San Diego City Skyline Panoramic Photos or more panorama photos from places other than San Diego

San Diego Skyline from Point Loma

California, Panoramas, San Diego

We have had some mild Santa Ana winds the last few days, blowing the haze out to sea and leaving behind fantastic visibility. I went down to a few of my favorite spots around San Diego Bay to get some new photos of the San Diego city skyline, including some panoramas. Here is the first of three that I’ll post. There was a haze offshore over the ocean that turned the sunset light the color of butter:

San Diego city skyline, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego rising above San Diego Harbor, viewed from Point Loma at sunset, with mountains of the Cleveland National Forest rising in the distance.  A panoramic photograph, composite of six separate images

San Diego city skyline, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego rising above San Diego Harbor, viewed from Point Loma at sunset, with mountains of the Cleveland National Forest rising in the distance. A panoramic photograph, composite of six separate images.
Image ID: 22252
Location: San Diego, California, USA

See more of our San Diego City Skyline Panoramic Photos or more panorama photos from places other than San Diego!